Walnut cake with crème fraîche recipe

Angela Hartnett
Delicious with a cup of tea, or after a meal - Carol Sachs

A classic walnut cake is always a welcome treat as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, or as a delicious dessert. Serve with some crème fraîche or cream. 

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes


8 to 10


  • butter, for greasing
  • 300g walnuts, plus extra to decorate
  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 300g caster sugar, plus extra to finish
  • the zest of ½ lemon
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • crème fraîche or cream, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 30cm round cake tin.
  2. Blitz the walnuts in a food processor to a crumb-like texture. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy. Fold the egg whites very gently into the yolk and sugar mixture using a large metal spoon, taking care to incorporate them without overworking it.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest, then fold in the flour and baking power. Finally, fold in the walnuts.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 1-1½ hours, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and serve with extra walnuts and crème fraîche or cream.